Safeguarding failures and fraud in the humanitarian sector are massively damaging—a breach of trust that threatens all we stand for and work so hard to deliver. A fully transparent, unflinching response to all allegations of unacceptable staff behaviour is vital if we’re ever going to restore the confidence and trust of donors, beneficiaries and the watching world.

High quality, competent investigations play a pivotal role in our response to staff misbehaviour. Failure to properly investigate allegations only adds insult to injury for those affected and sends out damaging signals to victims, perpetrators and our stakeholders. Superficial and incompetent investigations rarely uncover the real truth and often lead to false conclusions, harming the innocent and letting culprits off the hook—hardly the outcome any of us want.

OSACO Humanitarian draws on a global network of expert investigators and consultants with decades of experience in investigating and tackling damaging staff behaviour in the aid and development sector. We specialise in what we call HUMAN RISK FACTORS—put simply, what can go wrong in organisations when people go wrong and what to do about it. We work with UN agencies, INGOs and intergovernmental agencies of all sizes around the world, delivering high-quality investigations, supporting in-house investigations teams and helping organisations develop a robust, proactive response to unacceptable staff conduct.


  • safeguarding — sexual exploitation & abuse (SEA), sexual harassment, workplace harassment
  • fraud & financial misconduct
  • bribery, corruption & abuses of authority


  • investigative resourcing & support
  • aid sector investigations training
  • process & documentation development
  • risk assessments & resilience planning


DO NO HARM. We believe that the laws of unintended consequences should be central in the minds of all organisations regardless of their purpose or business

IT’S MOSTLY PREDICTABLE. We believe that the vast majority of human wrong-doing within organisations, or perpetrated against them, is predictable and can be greatly reduced through good foresight, planning, control and monitoring

WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. We believe that the costs of human integrity failures within organisations are not just financial; they cause massive reputation damage and very often incalculable human suffering and misery

WE CAN DO BETTER. We believe that with the right commitment from leaders and stakeholders, organisations can develop their capacity for anticipating and handling human fallibility

WRONG QUESTION. We believe that it’s not a matter of ‘can we afford to address these problems?’ but ‘can we afford NOT to?’

SYSTEMS ALONE WON’T CUT IT. We believe that administrative and technical measures alone (procedures, policies, contracts, channels, hotlines etc.) are insufficient for tackling human fallibility and are no replacement for inspired cultural change, personal supervision, coaching and pastoral care.

A DUTY OF CARE. We believe that organisations have a responsibility to ensure staff are adequately equipped to deal with the exposures, pressures and temptations inherent in their working environment

WE HAVE A PROBLEM, SO LET’S ADMIT IT. We believe that any organisation employing significant numbers of people has, is or will experience damaging staff misconduct, whether or not it is acknowledged and addressed

BE TRANSPARENT. We believe that we have to address the cultures and mindsets of resistance—stigmas, fears and self-preservation—that stop misconduct being reported transparently upwards and addressed in all directions

IT PAYS TO PAY FOR RISK UP FRONT. We believe that failing to address risk in advance, and then clearing up the mess afterwards, is far more painful—in monetary terms and often in human cost

WE CAN’T LOSE FAITH. We believe that a loss of faith in our institutions, structures, accountability and justice is a highly corrosive and damaging force in society; we have to win back trust in good process, step by step